For the first time, vehicles from Europe will be transported to North and Central America on a car carrier powered by LNG, reported Volkswagen Group
Siem Confucius left Emden, Germany for Veracruz, Mexico loaded with more than 4,800 vehicles for North America. It is one of two LNG-fuelled pure car truck carriers (PCTCs) under charter to Volkswagen.
"We are proud to put the world’s first LNG vehicle transporter of this size into service. This is an important part of our decarbonisation strategy," emphasised Volkswagen Group Logistics head Thomas Zernechel. “By 2025, in accordance with the environmental mission statement ‘goTOzero’, Volkswagen aims to reduce its net CO2 emissions by 30% and be CO2-neutral in 2050.
To achieve this, Volkswagen said all transports by water, road and rail must be climate-friendly. "We have to take action now, because ships like the LNG freighter Siem Confucius and soon its sister ship Siem Aristotle will be in service for many years," said Mr Zernechel.
By burning LNG, CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by up to 25%, NOx emissions by up to 30%, PM by up to 60% and SOx emissions virtually eliminated.
Siem Confucius and sister ship Siem Aristotle, due to enter service in H2 2020, both have an overall length of 200 m, beam of 38 m, depth of 14.8 m and draught of 8.65 m, with 13 car decks and a capacity of 7,500 car equivalent units (CEUs). This translates to about 4,800 vehicles in the Volkswagen Group model mix from passenger cars to light commercial vehicles. The PCTCs were built by China’s Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry.
Owned by Siem Car Carriers, the two PCTCs are being managed by its sister company, Siem Ship Management.
Siem Car Carrier president Jeffrey Cambell said, “Having launched such a revolutionary and innovative ship fuelled by liquefied natural gas, Siem Car Carriers will assist in the further lessening of global emissions and keep this world cleaner and greener.”
Each PCTC is equipped with 12,600-kW dual-fuel marine engines with direct injection and exhaust gas after treatment from MAN Energy Solutions. In eco-speed mode they travel at 16.5 knots. Each ship has two fuel tanks, with capacities of 1,800 m3, allowing them to cover the entire distance with the fuel stored in Europe. In addition to LNG, the car carriers could also be operated with biogas or e-gas made from renewable energy.
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